Coaching Junior Rugby - The 7 Traits of a Champion Team

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					Coaching Junior Rugby - The 7 Traits of a Champion Team
I experienced 12 years of junior rugby union in the heart of Reds
territory during the 1970's and 1980's at club and school (GPS) levels.
Ballimore were the halo grounds we kids dreamt of playing on at the end
of the season during the finals. I was particularly blessed and had
numerous runs onto the concave surface representing the Kenmore Bears
Rugby Union Club, as a halfback. Because of these experiences and the
dedication of my coach from Under 7 to Under 13, I decided to give
something back to the game I loved and coach a junior rugby union team,
modelled on how I was coached.
The first year I coached the Under 9 Wests Junior Rugby Union team. Being
in control of 15+ Under 9 was an eye opener, particularly for a 24 year
old who had no babysitting experience! A well planned session based on my
Queensland Rugby coaching manual, "The Game Played in Heaven", which
included large varieties of stretches/fitness & skill
drills/games/moves..., created an exciting, informative and smooth
running session for all. It was a great reward to see the players
improving every week, building in confidence and skills. We had a number
of losses at the start, however, we came back and beat most of the teams
in the second round and found ourselves at the top of the ladder at the
end of the year. With great disappointment, my 2 year of coaching the
same team, Under 10's now, was cut short with work commitments. Their
progress through the first part of the year was admirable. They had
become a champion team.
Our Kenmore Bears, back when I was playing, were a champion team too!
What qualities do a champion Rugby Union team display? Every training
session and every match day my coach and I installed 7 important traits
on our team:
1. Go Forward - The aim of the game is to put the ball over the try line.
This can only be achieved by going forward. Through the middle is the
fastest way!

2. Protect the Ball - You can't go forward and score a try without the
ball, nor can the opposition! Secure that ball.

3. Support the Ball Carrier - Give the ball carrier options and don't let
him get isolated!

4. Continuity - Continuous/Exciting play is a result of going forward,
protecting the ball and supporting the ball carrier!

5. Fair Play - Penalties just gives the ball and territory to the

6. Versatility - Players given the opportunity to play in numerous
positions create a greater scope and skills of the game.

7. Most important, Have Fun!
Good Coaching!
By Darrin Read

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